Blog Post |

The Best Way to Hire Warehouse Workers

Dan Johnston

January 13, 2020

The warehouse sector has seen huge growth in recent decades, namely a 90% rise in jobs since 2000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. More recently, there have also been a record number of workers leaving the field: a 250,000 increase in “quits” from 2016 to 2018. This can be a tough combination for employers looking to fill slots with experienced, reliable warehouse workers.

worker driver at warehouse forklift loader works

Luckily, there are a number of hiring solutions out there to help build out your team. First, word of mouth and employee referrals are a powerful hiring tool. But when that’s not enough, you’ve also got job boards, staffing agencies, and platforms like WorkStep. Read on to see a breakdown of the pros and cons of each, so you can find the best solution for your workplace.

Job Boards

If you do decide to go with a job board, make sure to be as detailed and accurate as possible in your job ad. Without a specific job description, you risk wasting time and money interviewing candidates who aren’t a great fit for the role. And the broader your job ad, the more likely you are to be stuck sifting through hundreds of poor-fit applications. This advice is valid no matter what platform you use to hire, but is especially important if you don’t have an agency or a platform like WorkStep pre-screening candidates for you.

Job Boards
Pros Cons
  • Low cost. Posting to job boards is generally relatively low cost. 
  • High effort. To get a good selection of candidates you’ll likely need to post to multiple job boards, sift through hundreds of applications, and complete the entire interview process.
  • Slow. Even with a dedicated HR team, this tends to be the slowest way to hire. 

Staffing Agencies

At first, staffing agencies might seem like a great deal. Sure you pay more, but you also get a qualified, on-demand workforce with very little commitment on your part. And, if the employee works out, you can always convert them to a full-time employee down the road, right? Not so fast.

There are a number of hidden costs to hiring temporary employees such as: higher turnover rates, lower morale, lower-quality workers, and little company loyalty. When you consider the already-high turnover rates for warehouse workers, direct hire positions generally make more sense.

Staffing Agencies
Pros Cons
  • Fast hiring. Since they have a ready-made pool of candidates, you can expect the position to be filled quickly. 
  • Low effort. Little to no screening or effort on your part. 
  • Very high cost. Staffing agencies typically mark up the hourly wages on their hires 45-55%. You’ll also pay a separate fee to convert them to a full time employee down the road. 
  • Higher turnover. Temporary employees have a turnover rate around 20 times the industry average. 
  • Myth of “try before you buy”. Employees prefer a full time role, so the best workers are far more likely to leave for a better opportunity. 


Warehouse-specific hiring platforms like WorkStep make it easier than ever to recruit experienced warehouse associates. As an employer, you benefit from knowing that potential candidates are prescreened (without having to take care of the time-consuming vetting process yourself) and the ease of posting a job in one place instead of multiple sites.

Pros Cons
  • Fast hiring. Connect with candidates who are ready to start and interview right away. 
  • Low cost. Pay-for-retention and at only a fraction of agency cost. No hidden fees. 
  • Low effort. WorkStep takes care of everything from pre-screening candidates to setting up interviews.
  • Lower turnover. On WorkStep, every candidate understands all of the core details of a role upfront, and is guided throughout the process by a WorkStep coach, making them more likely to stick around. 
  • No temp staffing. We’ve done the research and think that direct hire is better for everyone in terms of cost, time, and effort, but if you’re looking to have a 3rd party act as the employer of your workforce, that is not an option on WorkStep.

And, remember, once you’ve got the right candidates your job isn’t over. In a high-turnover market, you’ll also want to carefully consider whether you have the right tools in place to retain your warehouse workforce.

Find out more about hiring better-fit candidates and engaging your workforce with WorkStep.

Dan Johnston

Dan Johnston, Co-Founder & CEO |